Retail Guide: Juniors’ Shopping List

Barefoot Tess
Alison Taylor, buyer
Store count: 1 (5,000 sq. ft.); est. 2005

Hunting for: “Heeled booties, wedges and flats with embellishments on the toes have been really big. We’re also looking for styles with flower embellishments.”
Buying strategy: “We’re definitely purchasing more because we’ve had continuous growth.”
Can’t keep in stock: “Anything from Blowfish because of the price point, in particular, its Wylie heeled bootie.”
Best price point: $39 to $49
Hottest new brands: “We just started working with Steve Madden, Bloch and Kelsi Dagger.”
Fall ’11 trend you’re betting on: “Ankle booties will be a big one because we have customers who need a boot that doesn’t go all the way up to the knee.”
Fall trend you’re skipping: “Higher heels, the platform look and certain lighter colors because they just don’t do well for us.”
Mood at retail: “I’m optimistic. I’m not sure it will be a lot different than last spring, but there will definitely be growth.”
What you’re doing to spark sales: “Social-media outreach, including Facebook, has been huge for us, and we’re trying to expand our blog, as well as work with other blogs because it enables us to pinpoint our specific customers.”

The Shoe Box
State College, Pa.
Charlie Biddle, co-owner
Store count: 1 (1,600 sq. ft.); est. 1970

How are you approaching your buying for fall?
“We are anticipating higher sales, but want to have open-to-buy money to react to any trends.”

Pump Shoes & Accessories
Maureen Longua Bueltmann, owner
Store count: 1 (1,100 sq. ft.); est. 2004

Hunting for: “I am always looking for mid-heels, feminine wedges and comfort disguised in the right package. I’m also looking for generous calf boots.”
Buying strategy: “We’re putting more dollars into flat boots. No matter how many we buy, it’s never enough.”
Can’t keep in stock: “This past winter, it was Fergie’s Ledger boot, Calvin Klein’s Karsyn patent black pump and anything by Jeffrey Campbell.”
Best price point: “We had tons of shorty boots for under $90 this past season, and it’s such an important price point to do the needed volume.”
Hottest new brands: Fergie, Zigi
Fall ’11 trend you’re betting on: “Fur. I thought it would be bigger this past season, but it’s just hitting its peak and will be everywhere this fall.”
Fall trend you’re skipping: “Clogs. When will they go away?”
Mood at retail: “It feels really positive again.”
What you’re doing to spark sales: “We do special promotions and events, as well as social-media outreach. We have very loyal customers so we do our best to keep them that way.”

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